William S. Brusstar
Official Number 81806, Call Sign WB4539

William S. Brusstar is the outside boat

Photo Courtesy is from:

Collection Capt. E.L. Sherrill III

The William S. Brusstar's keel was laid 9 December 1901 at the Baltimore Marine Railway, Baltimore, MD. She was built for the Snow-Fallin Company, headquartered at Heathsville, VA, later Mila, VA. Her hull, which was 112.0'x19.6'x9.6', was launched in February 1902 to have a steeple compound surface condensing engine with 12” and 20 ½ “  diameter cylinders. Her boiler was 9'x10' and could maintain 150 lbs. pressure.  She had an interior of quartered oak, carried a crew of 20 and originally had 2 masts.

            She must have suffered engine problems since she was back in Baltimore from Reedville at the James Clark Company to have her machinery repaired October 1904 and again in March 1905 when the E.J. Codd Company put in a new steeple compound engine with 12” and 24” diameter cylinders and 24” piston stroke. Codd also put in a new condenser and air and circulating pumps, giving her 275 horse power. From 1902 to at least 1905 she was owned by the Snow-Fallin Company with her home port listed as Tappahannock, VA fishing out of Reedville.

            By 1911 she may have changed ownership but she definitely had been lengthened. She is listed in the Lists of Merchant Vessels as being 132.0'x20.0'x9.6' with a gross tonnage of 174 and a net tonnage of 99. She carried a crew of 6 and her use had changed to oystering.

            From 1914 until her demise her home port is listed as Reedville, VA. The Lists of Merchant Vessels for 1925 listed her back fishing and owned by the Lancaster Fish and Guano Company. Seaboard Oil Company owned her in 1928 and again she only has a crew of 6. Reedville Oil and Guano Company owned her from at least 1931 to 1956 with a brief stint with the U.S. Coast Guard, as WYP 312 assigned to San Juan, from 25 January 1943 to 16 June 1943 when she was returned to her owners. In 1956 she was registered under the ownership of William S. Brusstar Inc. and was 130.6'x20.0'x9.6', 199/59 tons, 6 cylinder 12”x15” Fairbanks-Morse engine with 540 horse power. She was still registered as William S. Brusstar Inc in 1965. Soon afterwards Haynie Products sold her to the Wachapreague Charter Boat Association for $1.00. In November 1968 the Wachapreague Charter Boat Association had her sunk in 80 feet of water near Parramore Beach Lighted Buoy as part of an artificial reef. Reports were that she did not scuttle easily but at least she wasn't cut up for scrap. 

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B.H. B. Hubbard Jr.
ex. U.SS. B.H.B. Hubbard Jr., U.S. Navy Minesweeper B.H.B. Hubbard Jr.
Official Number 209735
Call Sign LCJD (original), KJCH (1946)

Photo Courtesy is from:

B.H.B. Hubbard Collection

Capt. Meredith Robbins


“The Hubbard and the James were painted white when they were first built. They wanted them to be taken for yachts, at least at first glance. That way they could quickly catch a load in the lower Bay and steam back without anyone being the wiser.” This description of the B.H. B. Hubbard Jr. and the W.T. James was given to us in an interview with the late Lloyd Hubbard of White Stone, the son of Dr. B.H.B. Hubbard one of the owners of Taft Fish Company (factory built 1912) and for whom she was named.

The Hubbard was built in 1912 by Jackson and Sharp, a division of the American Car & Foundry Company, in Wilmington, Delaware where she was launched 15 February 1912 without ceremony and towed to Harlan & Hollinsworth Corporation to have her steam engine installed. She was 141.5'x22.8'x11.3', 328 gross tons, carried a crew of twenty-nine and was equipped with an early form of patent davits. At a final cost of $45,000 she  sailed from Wilmington, Delaware 6 April 1912 on her maiden voyage to her home in White Stone, Virginia carrying a  number of passengers: Mr. and Mrs. W.T. James, Mr. and Mrs. Colin Chilton, Mrs. Lulie Dunton, Mr. and Mrs. F. Sanders, Dr. B.H.B. Hubbard and Mrs. W.E. White who had traveled to Wilmington to make the voyage. She was under the command of Capt. W.E. White of Kilmarnock.  Weather was not the best on the voyage and it was still raining when they got to Cherry Point but that did not hamper the large crowd waiting to see the new steamer or the spirits of the passengers.

In 1914 the Hubbard caught fire at the factory dock in White Stone. To save her, they scuttled her and Merrit & Chapman Wrecking Company  raised her on 5 December 1914 and towed her to American Car & Foundry Corporation for repairs.

The Hubbard was one of the menhaden steamers taken over by the U.S. Government for service in World War I. The government acquired her 28 May 1917 and assigned her as SP-416. She was the only menhaden steamer to cross the Atlantic both ways under her own power. The W.T. James was lost in a gale in the Bay of Biscay but the Hubbard left Brest 27 April 1919 and arrived in Norfolk on 20 May 1919.

Taft Fish Company bought her back in October of 1919. Taft Fish Co. still owned her in 1932 with her home port listed as Reedville fishing out of the factory in White Stone. At some point after that she was  sold to a Mr. Renneburg  who sold her to J. Howard Smith of Menhaden Company (Virginia) by 1934. She was still owned by the Menhaden Company (Virginia) with her home port listed as Reedville in 1948. Smith sent her to Colonna's Shipyard in Norfolk to have her remodeled but eventually  decided not to and Colonna towed her to a mud bank near Great Bridge on the Inland Waterway 12 June 1961. She lay there only a short time when scavengers burned her for the scrap metal. She was listed as abandoned 1962.

"One Whistle" A Page Dedicated to The Menhaden Fishing Industry
Past & Present
by Sandra Pierson Sherrill